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Kimchi Fried Rice

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

This is Korea's homey fried rice dish, perfect for using up leftover rice and "mature" kimchi (that is to say, kimchi that has gone a bit sour). Because the kimchi is so flavorful, very little seasoning is needed. With soup and a salad, this is a great light meal.

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  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 oz. ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup kimchi, drained (1Tbs. liquid reserved) and coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 3 cups cooked white or brown rice, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat for 30 seconds. 

Add about three-quarters of the scallions and the garlic; stir-fry with a spatula for 10 seconds.

Add the ham and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the kimchi and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same wok or skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the sesame oil over medium heat for 30 seconds.  Add the rice and stir-fry, tossing the rice until it is completely coated with the sesame oil. Continue stir-frying until it begins to get crisp, about 2 minutes more.

Add the kimchi mixture and combine thoroughly. Drizzle the kimchi juice and the soy sauce over the mixture and continue cooking for another minute.

With the spatula, push the fried rice mixture in the front of the skillet to the center, leaving an empty space closest to you in the skillet. Pour in the remaining sesame oil and heat for 10 seconds. Pour the beaten eggs into the oil and let cook for about 1 minute until the egg just begins to set. With the spatula push the egg into the fried rice mixture, little by little, and distribute it throughout the rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put the rice in a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chopped scallions.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve the Kimchi Fried Rice on its own or with a rustic Radish Salad or Mixed Herb Salad for a light meal, or alongside Korean-Style Marinated Skirt Steak for a more substantial meal.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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